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Archive for August 14th, 2016

Ramp closures planned at Route 6 and Interstate 39 intersection

Posted by wlpo on August 14, 2016

If you’re daily drive includes the Route 6 and Interstate 39 interchange, you may want to make other plans.

Starting Tuesday, there will be ramp closures at the interchange lasting up to a week. The work includes patching on I-39 and resurfacing on Route 6 from the Little Vermillion River Bridge in La Salle to Route 178 in Utica.

When ramps are closed, a message board will be used to direct traffic.

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Gun story in Marseilles was allegedly a farce

Posted by wlpo on August 14, 2016

What would make someone file a false police report? A Marseilles man is accused of making up a story where he fought off a gunman.

While pumping gas at the Marseilles Shell station on August 5th, 46-year-old James Despain of Marseilles says a guy approached him asking for help. When they went to the side of the gas station, Despain told police the guy pointed a gun at him. Despain claimed to punch the gunman, knocking him down.

After interviewing witnesses and checking surveillance video, officers say the ordeal was made up. Despain was arrested Thursday for the felony of filing a false police report. He came up with a thousand dollars bond the next day and is out of jail.

Despain is due back in court September 1st.

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Medical chopper called to help injured skydiver

Posted by wlpo on August 14, 2016

A couple hours after a skydiver landed safely after getting out of handcuffs, another skydiver was hurt after a rough landing.

Wallace and Ottawa firefighters were called out to Skydive Chicago around 7:30 Saturday night. A man hurt his leg during a hard landing.

A Life Flight helicopter showed up and took the injured skydiver to OSF St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria.

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Escape artist makes handcuffed jump in Ottawa

Posted by wlpo on August 14, 2016

A daredevil pulled off his latest death defying feat over La Salle County.

Fifty-year-old Anthony Martin of Wisconsin was able to get himself out of handcuffs while skydiving from 8,500 feet. He made the successful jump late Saturday afternoon after a couple of weather delays. Martin’s jump was broadcast live on Facebook Live.

Back in 2013 Martin jumped at Skydive Chicago while locked inside a coffin. He’s also made news by breaking out of prison cells.

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Trooper fatally injures pedestrian in E. Peoria

Posted by wlpo on August 14, 2016

A strange set of circumstances early Saturday in East Peoria involving a State Trooper and a ….now, dead pedestrian.  ISP Captain Steven Riesenberg is with District 8.  Riesenberg says a preliminary investigation indicated a State Trooper – who was not identified – was driving in the left lane of Route 116 when he struck a pedestrian walking in the middle of the unlit highway. It happened near the intersection of Centennial Drive.

The Trooper was not hurt but was taken to the hospital to be examined. Investigation continues by various agencies of the State Police.  No further information is being released at this time.

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Plano man crashes cycle near Utica Sunday

Posted by wlpo on August 14, 2016

A motorcyclist from Plano took evasive action Sunday afternoon north of Utica on Route 178.  Assistant Utica Fire Chief Mark Bierbom said the man – the only rider on the cycle – saw traffic stopped in the northbound lanes,  couldn’t stop in time and crashed in the ditch near Illinois Valley Fence and Pool about 4:10pm.

Bierbom said the man was taken to IVCH by Utica ambulance.  The man’s name and how the accident will be released later by the Sheriff’s office.

 

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Lee County woman new Bureau County Ag Literacy Coordinator

Posted by wlpo on August 14, 2016

A Lee County native is the new Ag Literacy Coordinator in Bureau County. Janell Happ is married and lives with her husband on his family’s sesquicentennial farm in rural Mendota.  The family raises crops and Hereford beef cattle. Happ said, while growing up, she spent a lot of time on her grandparents’ farm and took part in 4-H and FFA programs.

While raising 2 boys, Happ will also be busy going into Bureau County classrooms educating students on field and garden crops as well as raising livestock.

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Illini “Faces” meet media and fans Sunday

Posted by wlpo on August 14, 2016

Lovie Smith knows his Illinois team will have to heavily rely on senior quarterback Wes Lunt. But the first-year Illini coach said Sunday he wants his team to run the ball.
Smith said during preseason media day that he is confident sophomore Ke’Shawn Vaughn can carry the load. And Smith said he believes in backup Kendrick Foster despite the junior having only 15 career carries.

Smith also said he wants his tight ends to catch passes and to use a fullback in the pass and run games. Illinois has not used a true fullback in several seasons. And Illini tight ends have often been talented, but played small roles in the offense. Illinois opens Sept. 3 against Murray State and plays four of its first five games at home.

Other Illinois athletic Department personnel were meeting the media and fans Sunday. Dee Brown, past Illinois basketball great and now Director of Player Development and Alumni Relations met local Illini fans Sunday at the Michelini farm on Plank Road in Peru. It was the first gathering of what’s to be the Starved Rock Illini Club.  The group is on Facebook and will meet at Buffalo Wild Wings in Peru October 22 to watch the Illinois / Michigan football game.

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State’s rainy day fund dwindling

Posted by wlpo on August 14, 2016

A stopgap spending plan that Illinois lawmakers approved this summer in the midst of a long-lasting budget crisis is quickly draining the state’s rainy day fund.  Experts agree the state should have $1.5 to $3 billion to help weather an economic downturn. As of Friday, it had about $180 million. In a matter of weeks, the balance will be zero.
Financial watchdogs and at least one major credit rating agency warn that it’s a bad move to empty the $275 million fund to pay for items such as food and medicine in the absence of a full budget. They say it means that when a recession hits, new taxes or spending cuts will be “draconian.” Using the rainy day fund for cash flow is nothing new in financially troubled Illinois.

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Area 5k raised $14 G during Riverfest

Posted by wlpo on August 14, 2016

What’s become a Riverfest tradition in Ottawa is also a hit.  Tracy Beattie is with the Starved Rock Regional Center for Therapy and Child Development.  Beattie reports their 5K Run/Walk from last weekend raised over $14,000 – a record for SRRC.  100% of all money raised at the event remains in Ottawa, helping local children to achieve their maximum potential.

Among those running was Bob Olsen, who has raised significant donations each year for the Center.  He crossed the finish line despite painful physical challenges due to being in a fire several years ago. The annual 5K event also includes a Kid’s run.

 

 

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